Society

Tunisian women free to marry non-Muslims

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Tunisia has overturned a law that banned women from marrying non-Muslims A spokeswoman for President Beji Caid Essebsi made the announcement and congratulated women on gaining “the freedom to choose one’s spouse”. BBC Until now, a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian Muslim woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof. Tunisia, which is 99% Muslim, is viewed as one of the most progressive Arab countries in terms of women’s… Tunisian ... Read More »

Processing centres in North Africa are not the answer for EU refugees

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Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron invited his counterparts from Libya, Niger, Chad, Italy, Germany and Spain to Paris to discuss ways of stopping the flow of irregular migrants and refugees through transit countries. Azadeh Dastyari  The Conversation  The leaders explored the possibility of establishing processing facilities in North Africa to identify refugees and turn back anyone who does not qualify for resettlement. The talks come two years after approximately one million people arrived by boat in Europe, 75% of ... Read More »

Chelsea Manning: What Was Harvard Thinking?

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Manning isn’t the Kennedy School’s only questionable appointment The Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School announced on Wednesday that it was inviting Chelsea E. Manning–who disseminated almost 750,000 secret American government cables and documents about Iraq to Wikileaks and spent seven years in prison before her sentence was commuted by President Obama–to become a visiting… Jacob Heilbrunn The National Interest Then, on Friday, it rescinded the invitation. The school’s dean, Douglas W. Elmendorf, issued a broadly worded statement. ... Read More »

Russia, Turkey Sign S-400 Deal despite Criticism and Suspicion

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference following their talks in Sochi, Russia, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

Moscow – Moscow and Ankara confirmed on Tuesday that they signed a deal in which Moscow would sell Ankara S-400 missiles. Taha Abed alWahed “Signatures have been made for the purchase of S-400s from Russia. ASHARQ AL-AWSAT A deposit has also been paid as far as I know,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday. He stated that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin “are determined on this issue.” This is the largest deal that Turkey signs with a country ... Read More »

Building the Alaska ‘Blue Economy’

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Alaska’s blue economy leadership potential is tremendous; we maintain over half the nation’s coastline and a third of the U.S. exclusive economic zone with access to vast natural resources S. Bradley Moran Joel Cladouhos  Alaska Journal  The blue economy vision is that by 2040 Alaska would grow by 50,000 jobs and $3 billion in wages, approximately equal to the oil and gas industry today. Alaska’s blue economy includes existing traditional sectors such as fisheries, coastal tourism and oil and gas, ... Read More »

Greece completes sale of railway operator to Italy’s Ferrovie

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ATHENS, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Greece concluded on Thursday the sale of railway operator TRAINOSE to Italy’s Ferrovie dello Stato and expects hundreds of millions of euros to be invested in the country’s ageing rail infrastructure in the coming years. Reuters Staff Under its current bailout, its third since 2010, Greece was expected to sell TRAINOSE and other state assets to raise 6 billion euros ($6.2) by 2018. Greece will fetch 45 million euros from this sale and expects a ... Read More »

John Howard slams Turnbull government’s handling of same-sex marriage postal vote

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Former Prime Minister John Howard has slammed the Turnbull government’s handling of the same-sex marriage postal vote 9news Mr Howard has demanded the government release its planned legislation before the vote ends to show how it plans to handle “parental rights”, “freedom of speech” and show how “religious freedoms will be protected”. “The government’s response has been to wash its hands of any responsibility,” Mr Howard said. Malcolm Turnbull’s predecessor Tony Abbott agreed with Mr Howard. “People don’t know exactly ... Read More »

India to invest $17bn on Japanese bullet trains

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Japanese premier Shinzo Abe hails new ‘strategic and global partnership in the Indian-Pacific region’. Al Jazeera India will invest $17bn to build its first high-speed train system, having reached a deal with Japan to help finance the project. Source: News agencies The network, which will run 508km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, was announced on Thursday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “This is the new India, and the flight of its dreams is endless,” he said. “The bullet train project will bring ... Read More »

Cardin: Turkey’s Purchase of Russian missile system may trigger sanctions

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Top Senate Foreign Relations Democrat warns $2.5 billion Turkey-Russia deal might violate new sanctions law that Trump opposed. Andrew Hanna Politico Turkey’s recent purchase of an advanced Russian anti-air weapons system may have violated a U.S. law that would require an automatic imposition of sanctions on the NATO member, a top Democratic lawmaker said today. The letter, sent by Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin to Trump administration officials, warns that Ankara’s purchase of Moscow’s S-400 air defense system, which finalized on ... Read More »

Hebrew U tech chief seeks balance between academia and industry

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Yaron Daniely, the new head of Hebrew University’s tech transfer unit, wants technology created in the academic world to get a fair chance to market Shoshanna Solomon The Times of Israel Yaron Daniely, the Hebrew University’s newest pick to spearhead the commercialization of technologies developed within its ivory towers, is taking the reins at a delicate time. Israeli academia has come under public scrutiny for missing out on royalties on technologies developed by their researchers: earlier this month, the Israeli ... Read More »

Tony Abbott on why same sex marriage would fundamentally change society

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Like most, I have tried to be there for friends and family who are gay. They are good people who deserve our love, respect and inclusion but that doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to reserve the term “marriage” for the relationship of one man with one woman, ideally for life and usually dedicated to children. Tony Abbott * The Sydney Morning Herald Like you, I want a country where everyone gets a fair go and where no one is ... Read More »

Philippines: Commission on Human Rights budget cut to almost nothing amid Duterte’s drug crackdown

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Philippines politicians allied with President Rodrigo Duterte have slashed the annual budget for the Commission on Human Rights from $17 million to just $25 Barney Porter ABC The public body has clashed repeatedly with Mr Duterte over his violent campaign against illegal drugs, and human rights advocates say the move is aimed at supressing any dissent. About four-fifths of lower house members supported the move to cut the commission’s budget to almost nil. The house speaker and a close ally ... Read More »

A lesson from Hurricane Irma: capitalism can’t save the planet – it can only destroy it

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The perpetual quest for growth drives our economics. That’s why our environment and financial system lurch from crisis to crisis. George Monbiot The Guardian There was “a flaw” in the theory: this is the famous admission by Alan Greenspan, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, to a congressional inquiry into the 2008 financial crisis. His belief that the self-interest of the lending institutions would lead automatically to the correction of financial markets had proved wrong. Now, in the midst ... Read More »

Map: Australian views on same-sex marriage

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Polling consistently shows most voters support same-sex marriage — but how do views vary across Australia? By Matt Liddy, Nathan Hoad and Ben Spraggon ABC How Australians think about same-sex marriage, mapped – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Last year, the ABC’s Vote Compass asked Australians whether they agreed or disagreed with this statement: Marriage should only be between a man and a woman. More than 1.2 million Australians responded, and a majority of people indicated support for allowing same-sex ... Read More »

Conservatives, liberals unite against Silicon Valley

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The fading of the tech industry’s bipartisan glow in Washington puts it at risk for tighter regulations. NANCY SCOLA Politico The days of unqualified praise from Washington are over for the country’s biggest tech companies, whose size and power are increasingly drawing attacks from both the left and the right. Democrats are condemning Facebook for allowing “fake news” and Russia-linked ads during the election, while conservatives accuse Google of silencing right-leaning viewpoints. President Donald Trump routinely accuses Amazon of dodging ... Read More »

Six charts that show how much the world has changed since the 2007-08 financial crisis

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Ten years ago, fretting depositors formed lengthy queues in front of Northern Rock bank branches across the UK after news broke that it needed support from the Bank of England. Six charts that show how much the world has changed since the 2007-08 financial crisis Alex Mandilaras  The country’s fifth-largest mortgage lender, it was in real danger of running out of cash. The Conversation People were anxious to withdraw their money. They all managed to do so. But not without ... Read More »